The sun is coming out, and although it’s still a little nippy in the air, it definitely feels like spring has finally sprung! With the end of lockdown in sight and Easter approaching, the roads are set to become a lot busier.
For truck drivers, this is going to mean life on the road is going to change again. After the cold winter months and short periods of daylight, spring driving can be a much more pleasant experience. However, just because we might be having a few sunny days now, this time of year can see weather and conditions changing drastically, so here are some of our top tips for truck driving in the spring:
- Check the forecast
When the weather begins to improve, it can be very easy to believe that the sunny weather is here to stay. Before heading out on any drive, make sure that you have a clear idea of the weather forecast throughout the route.
Conditions can be incredibly different, just a few dozen miles apart, so being aware of the risks that might lie ahead is essential. Of course, checking the weather should not just be a tip for springtime and should be something you adopt throughout the year!
- Watch out for aquaplaning
While springtime can bring sunny and warm weather, it can also bring torrential downpours. This can lead to motorways and roads becoming flooded very quickly. While some roads offer great drainage, others are not so effective, which creates a significant risk of aquaplaning.
This is an incredibly dangerous situation, so to avoid this when driving in wet conditions, make sure you slow down and brake more gently.
- Remember, it’s still cold!
If you are driving your truck in the early morning or late at night, then make sure you are aware of potentially icy conditions. Just because the day time can be warm, it can become very cold overnight, and you might find it very icy in the morning.
When driving your truck in the spring, bear in mind that conditions can still be wintery early in the morning or late at night, so take your time and be careful. If you are staying in your cab overnight, then this is important to remember, so keeping an extra blanket close to hand can make things that little bit comfier!
- Keep your eyes out for potholes
After the harsh conditions of the winter, it can leave the roads in a bad condition. Snow, ice and heavy rain can see small potholes quickly deteriorate and grow to large holes that can cause significant damage to not only your truck but also the cargo you are carrying.
To avoid any issues, make sure you are keeping a close eye on the road ahead and driving slowly through areas of major degradation. Even on those roads you know well, you should exercise caution as the condition of the tarmac could have changed significantly since you last drove it.
- Watch for animals
It’s not just the sun that makes a reappearance during the spring. This time of year is when many creatures begin to emerge from their winter hibernation or give birth to new litters, which can mean an increase in the number of animals darting out into the road.
Staying alert while driving is very important, and you should remember not to swerve if an animal jumps out and instead be ready to brake. Reacting too late or trying to move lanes can result in a major accident.
- Check your supplies
Finally, after the long winter months, the springtime is the perfect opportunity to take stock of your supplies and ensure you refill anything that you might have used over the winter. This could include restocking your first aid kit, replenishing food and water or replacing personal hygiene items.
After the challenges of the winter, spring driving can be a far more pleasant experience, but it is important to be cautious and aware of the ever-changing conditions.
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